Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Sunday, May 29
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.”
Jas 1:17 NKJV
YOU NEED A VISION
If your vision in life is to become as rich as possible, hoard every penny you make, and indulge your every whim—your vision is not from God. But if your vision is to succeed, use your success to bless others, and fulfill the purposes of God in the earth, your vision is from God. When God called Abraham, He promised him three things: “I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing [to others]” (Ge 12:2 NIV). Understand this: Every worthy vision comes from God whether or not it’s related to so-called “spiritual” matters, and whether or not the person with the vision realizes the source of their vision. The Bible says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” We tend to compartmentalize our lives, to view God as having influence and relevance when it comes to “spiritual” visions, missions, and goals, but little relationship to “secular” visions, missions, and goals. St. Augustine said, “Let every Christian understand that wherever truth is found, it belongs to his Master.” God is the fountain of all truth, and the source of all worthy visions. And since He gave you your vision you must pour yourself into it every day. The Psalmist said, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity [success] of His servant” (Ps 35:27 NKJV). With God as your partner you must expect to succeed—and you will!
Monday, May 30
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
Jas 1:19 NIV
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
The only way to avoid having to deal with difficult people—is to move to another planet. Human beings are a mixture of vices and virtues, and unless you understand that, you won’t be able to work or live with them successfully. The story’s told of a monk who joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. Once a year he was invited to appear before the abbot, and he was permitted to say one thing. After the first year when he was asked what he had to say, he replied, “The bed’s too hard!” At the end of the second year when he was asked, he responded, “The room’s too cold.” At the end of the third year he was asked the same question. He replied, “The food’s terrible. I quit.” At that point the abbot smiled with relief and said, “Thank goodness! Because you’ve done nothing but complain since you got here!” Think about it: Even if you joined a monastery you’d still have to deal with difficult people! So what can you do? Learn from the farmer. He plants, pulls weeds, and cultivates, knowing the harvest will eventually come if he patiently keeps doing these things. It’s one of the reasons James writes, “Dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires” (vv. 19-20 NIV). There are no shortcuts. The only way to have a good relationship is to work at it and be patient. When you do, God will bless that relationship.